Chicago’s Amazon bid committee includes big lineup of corporate chiefs



Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle in a June 2014 file image. In a press release Thursday, Amazon announced it is planning to build a second, ‘equal’ headquarters in another city. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/TNS)

By Chicago Tribune

Chicago is tapping some big names in its business community to woo Amazon’s second headquarters and 50,000 jobs to the area.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Loop Capital Chairman and CEO Jim Reynolds and Abbott Chairman and CEO Miles White will chair a 600-member committee formed to support a Amazon bid, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Wednesday. Members of the group represent the business, financial, technology, arts and culture, civic and education communities.

The effort to woo Amazon is led by honorary co-chairs Emanuel and Rauner. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was named honorary vice chair. Also on the committee are representatives from DuPage, McHenry, Kendall, Kane, Lake and Will counties.


The size of the committee follows Emanuel’s comment earlier this month that the county and state would join him in an “all hands on deck approach” to winning Amazon’s $5 billion investment.

“This unprecedented coalition brings together the public and private sectors with education, community and faith leaders to speak with a powerful, unified voice that says that Chicago is the ideal location for Amazon to build its new home and continue to grow for generations,” Emanuel said in a news release.

Wednesday is the deadline for developers and property owners to nominate potential sites for the city and state to consider as part of a formal bid for Amazon’s headquarters, dubbed “HQ2.”

Amazon sent communities across the country into overdrive this month when it announced a request for proposals to build a second headquarters, giving cities until Oct. 19 to respond.

Seattle-based Amazon said sites for HQ2 must have 500,000 square feet of initial space and the ability to expand up to 8 million square feet 10 years.

The city said sites also should have direct access to public transportation and be within 45 minutes of O’Hare Airport.



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